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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Beltane

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Thought I would share my article about how to dance a maypole and maypole magic. Happy Beltane to all Pagans in the Northern Hemisphere, and Blessed Samhain to those of you in the Southern Hemisphere!

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/betweentheshadows/2015/04/seekers-and-guides-maypole-magic/

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

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Spring is sprung, The grass is riz
I wonder now, where Isis is.

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Breathing In Beltane's Magic

   I have been long away from the SageWoman Blogs; having started a new job in January, I am still adjusting to the change in my rhythms and tasks. After four months I still find myself floundering, not quite sure how to fit everything into the twenty-four hours we have every day, and things I find pleasure and solace in, such as all of my writing projects, have been pushed aside so I might focus on work projects and caring for my family. I realize I am not alone in this situation: parents and caregivers all over the world face this same struggle every day, and we all of us end up feeling some sort of guilt over the choices we make.

   I am not going to spend this post wondering how to balance everything, or how to avoid feeling the unwarranted yet unavoidable guilt that comes from being a working parent/caregiver. Instead, as today is Beltane eve, I am going to think about what Beltane brings to us, and the joy Beltane trails in its wake. For who doesn't love Beltane? Samhain, Beltane's sister holy day, is dark, mysterious, and magical, but Beltane is altogether different: flowery, glittery, all light and laughter. It is a sabbat of bonfires and music, dancing and faerie-lore. Today I have a rare day off (and I still will be going into work for a meeting later today) and on waking the day felt altogether different, just knowing that I (mostly) had a free day. Generally I wake up in a pleasant mood, as I truly enjoy the work I am now doing, but today I woke happy, not just in a good mood. I am still happy, despite a grumpy getting-sick five year old and the fact that twice now my computer has nearly lost the unsaved drafts of this post. (I am now saving it every two sentences, btw)

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Beltane and the Sensual


Sensuality – what a lovely word. It rolls off the tongue – you have to say it slowly, it really doesn’t work otherwise.  Like dripping honey.  Sweet molasses.  A cat’s stretch. It needs time, awareness, mindfulness.

Sensuality is often misinterpreted as relating solely to the sexual experience. What we need to do is bring the sensual back into our everyday lives, seeing how it relates to the whole experience rather than just a sexual one. Sensual – input from the senses. There are so many other senses that are pretty much asleep for most of our day. Sometimes there are very good reasons – we couldn’t really function if all our senses were firing on full all at the same time.  But reawakening them, especially at this time of year, and working with them intentionally can help us to rediscover our world through our bodies, rather than just living in our heads.

All too often we experience life only through our minds, leaving our bodies out.  Mind and body are intertwined, and both need input, both need nourishment in order to function properly.  When we get too caught up in thinking, our bodies are often neglected. When we are too wrapped up in the physical, our intellect or even spiritual attributes can suffer.  Finding a holistic balance is key.

I know far too many people living in their heads.  They suffer greatly, because they cannot escape their own mindtraps  To alleviate that suffering, we need to reawaken the sensual. 

So what is the sensual? Essentially, it is working with the senses.  Many of our senses are asleep, or deadened through lack of use, or even abuse. 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Welcome to Summerisle!

 Summer is icumen in, loudly sing cuckoo. Grows the seed and blows the mead, and springs the wood anew. Sing, cuckoo! Ewe bleats harshly after lamb, cows after calves make moo!

Ever since I began ritualing with my fostering coven almost ten years ago, The Wicker Man has been one of my favorite movies.  We’d watch it together every Beltane, sipping mead and telling jokes, singing the songs and quoting our favorite lines.  One year I was feeling especially inspired so I put it on to play first thing in the morning and my DVD ran on repeat until I went to bed that night.  Clearly, to say that I adore The Wicker Man is an understatement. 

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  • Ian Phanes
    Ian Phanes says #
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Summerisle_%28The_Wicker_Man%29

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
The Question of Soul

Recently I was asked a question that gave me pause. It was a simple question that opened up whole worlds of inquiry which have echoed through many hundreds of years. The question was, “Do birds have souls?” This is not such an unusual question. For a very long time in history, we have been told that only humans have souls. As God gave mankind dominion over the animals (Genesis 1:26), this seems to imply that, though animals have the ‘breath of life’ to animate them, they are not connected with the Divine in the same sense as mankind. They do not have souls nor do they go to heaven. We have come a long way in appreciating that animals have thoughts and feelings. Anyone who owns a pet (and this implication of ‘ownership’ becomes interesting language itself) can attest to the different, particular personalities that come through. Many of you reading this likely have already answered the question of animal’s souls in your own minds. For me it was an invitation to a more expansive question, “What exactly is a Soul and does it differ from Spirit?”

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  • Jean Bastide
    Jean Bastide says #
    THE ELFIN MAY-POLE Death and Bereavement: The May Queen Lord Alfred Tennyson (1809–1892) http://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2015/

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Hail! Hail! The First of May-O

Inspired by the May traditions of Padstow, Cornwall, Dave Webber's May Song is a fine modern Beltane song in traditional idiom, heard here in a rousing performance by Magpie Lane.

The traditional May Day Hobby Horse's dance of sex, death, and resurrection has no known historical connection with the widespread and deeply sacred horse-sacrifices of the ancient Indo-European world.

None whatsoever.

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